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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Military operations to go on despite Abu Sayyaf's new beheading threat

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The military continues to conduct “focused military operation” in Sulu despite the Abu Sayyaf’s threat to behead another foreign hostage.

According to Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, the Armed Forces of the Philippines does not recognize deadlines imposed by the kidnappers and law enforcement operations are not swayed by ultimatums from criminals.

“The deadline set by the Abu Sayyaf (ASG) is its own deadline. The AFP will continue to conduct intensified focused military operations (FMO) based on the available information to immediately rescue the kidnap victims,” Tan said on Monday.

He said the safety of the kidnap victims though “is our primary concern.”
“We will do our best to accomplish our mission,” he added.

In a video released by Abu Sayyaf and  posted online by the SITE Intelligence Group on May 13, the bandit group showed Canadian Robert Hall and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad surrounded by hooded armed men.

The armed men said they should receive the ransom by June 13 or they would kill one of the captives.

The Abu Sayyaf has been demanding $13 million for the captives.

On April 25, their fellow captive, Canadian John Ridsdel, was beheaded after his family failed to deliver the P300 million ransom the Abu had demanded.

Tan said military intelligence units have been mobilized to maximize the efforts to locate the victims and the hiding places of the bandits.  SFM/rga

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